Many Republicans in Congress were reeling after President Trump’s unexpected deal with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to raise the national debt limit and keep the federal government funded in exchange for Hurricane Harvey relief.
With his collaboration with “Chuck and Nancy,” as Trump labeled them, the president snubbed the congressional GOP leadership’s plans while handing Democrats leverage to push their own big agenda items, such as passing a law to grant legal status to undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as young children.
But it is the GOP establishment leaders, including House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who’ve come under fire from the conservative media, where Trump’s across-the-aisle agreement has been touted by many as an example of the independent, swamp-draining deals he promised to make during the campaign.
The greatest show of support for Trump’s deal with the Democrats has taken place on decidedly pro-Trump Fox News, starting with conservative commentator Laura Ingraham’s appearance on Sean Hannity’s talk show Thursday night.
“Oh, woe is us. We’re betrayed,” Ingraham said, mocking congressional Republicans’ shock over Trump’s pivot toward Pelosi and Schumer. “Where was all of their concern and urgency over the last six weeks?”
Although she admitted that she does not agree with the Democrats’ position on many issues, including the debt ceiling, Ingraham argued that Trump “is a conservative populist. That means at times, if Republicans don’t deliver legislation he can sign on the critical matters that he campaigned on, he’s going to look to move the ball down the field with another set of players.”
A cacophony of complimentary commentators on “Fox & Friends,” perhaps Trump’s favorite show, echoed that sentiment Friday morning.
“His so-called allies in the Republican Party, they sure didn’t do him any favors during health care,” said Fox contributor Geraldo Rivera, who argued that “the best thing” about Trump’s deal with Pelosi and Schumer “is the signal he sent down the road, or rather up Pennsylvania Avenue to Capitol Hill, to Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell: ‘If you don’t play ball with me,…